Germaine Navarro came to CSUN with an interest in the linguistics program several years ago. After traveling to Japan and working with children there, Navarro is returning to work on earning her master’s degree in Japanese linguistics, as well as develop her interest with speech language pathology as a speech therapist.
“They normally hire people with a psychology major, but since I’m a linguist and I worked with children in Japan, I got a job,” said the 23-year-old. “They trained me to work with children with special needs.”
Navarro has been working with children with special needs for two months already. She visits houses three times a week, and has realized that she has developed a passion for helping children.
Navarro said children are unpredictable and her job requires a lot of repetition.
“If a child throws anything at me, I’m not supposed to close my eyes and show him that I’m scared. I should pretend that nothing happened and when he is ready to play we play again,” Navarro said about one of her clients.
Navarro must also consider the child’s temperament.
“I currently visit two different boys,” said Navarro. “They both have autism, but they are so different in terms of their character.”
However, Navarro is not scared. She has all the ingredients for success. She is patient, intelligent, and she talks about her job with a great bit of enthusiasm.
When she first arrived at CSUN, she wasn’t sure what language she was going to study. She took several different languages each semester such as French, Korean, and German, and eventually decided to take Japanese.
However for some unknown reason, she pursued Japanese.
“I found myself taking more Japanese classes every semester,” said Navarro. “I thought that it might be my major.”
Navarro said CSUN has a very good Japanese language program. It was after graduating with her bachelor’s degree that Navarro had a chance to travel to Japan. While spending four months there, she taught English and learned more Japanese.
Work aside, Navarro likes to cook and hang out with her friends. She likes to find random recipes online and experiment with them in the kitchen. Navarro’s passion for adventure has undoubtedly influenced her future career choice.
“I definitely know that I’ll work in the USA,” Navarro said. “But before I do that, I’d like to do my clinical in different countries and I hope to use my Japanese again.”